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BY THE NUMBERS //

The School Nurse

School nurses see to a variety of ailments, and there aren’t enough of them.

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1902 The year the first school nurse was hired in the United States, in New York City



90 Percentage drop in student absences because of illness from 1902 to 1903, the year the first nurses began work in New York City; the nurses focused on illness prevention programs, which included lessons in hygiene, nutrition and physical development



16 Percentage of the approximately 52 million U.S. schoolchildren who have chronic physical, emotional or other health problems



3 Millions of schoolchildren with food allergies, an 18% increase from 1997 to 2007



7.1 Millions of schoolchildren with asthma



9.7 Percentage of children from homes that cannot afford access to health care, including preventive care



1/750 Recommended nurse-to-student ratio for students in the general population, according to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN)



396 Average number of students per nurse in Vermont in 2010



4,411 Average number of students per nurse in Michigan in 2010



45 Percentage of American public schools that have a full-time nurse; 25% of schools have no nurse at all



20 Percentage, in 2007–2008, of children who reported using at least one prescription drug during the past month, according to CDC research

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